Last week I had the privilege of sharing my testimony at Pepperdine University for a women’s only convocation. I was extremely blessed to attend Pepperdne my freshman and sophomore year before having to transfer due to my struggle with depression. Since then, feelings of shame and loss have hovered over me from having to leave the college I loved. It was where I experienced the call of ministry on my life, where God birthed the vision of WM; where I met one of my bridesmaids, learned to surf a 40-pound longboard, began writing HEAL, served as a “Spiritual Advisor” to 50 freshman girls and made unforgettable friendships. Although my warm smile didn’t show it, this season was also a time of inward strife, insecurity and pressure as college almost always is for a 20 year-old woman. A beautiful place where my still emotionally fragile self battled depression, struggled with disordered eating, obsessed about my weight, and worried about what I’d do on Friday nights and who I’d eat at the “caf” with.
Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.” – Hosea 2:14-15